Intermarche Foire Aux Vins 2012
by Ian Blackshaw
It is that time of the year for the wine fairs (foires aux vins) and the Supermarket chain ‘Intermarche’, whose wines generally are very good, are holding their wine fair in their stores from 12 to 23 September. They have just published their catalogue, which makes very interesting reading indeed. They are offering a selection of reds, whites, champagnes and some pudding wines to suit all tastes and pockets.
One notable feature of this year’s selection is that many of the wines have been chosen for immediate drinking. As wine expert Michel Petitjean puts it: “Contrary to received wisdom, a bottle does not have to be lying in the cellar for several years. More and more, wines are elaborated to be drunk rapidly, taking advantage of their fruitiness and softness. The majority of consumers do not have a cave and buy their wine just before drinking it.”
Of course, amongst the reds on offer are some for laying down for 3 – 5 years or longer, such as a 2008 AOC Pauillac Grand Cru Classe from Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse (5 – 10 years), comprising a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes, at a price, reflecting its quality, of €19,95!
A.O.C.Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux Château Le Grand Moulin Collection Grande Réserve
At the other end of the scale, there is a 2009 (a very good year all round!) AOC Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux from Chateau Le Grand Moulin, comprising the classic claret trinity of cabernet sauvignon, franc and merlot grapes. This is described as a ‘bonne affaire’ at a price of €4,90 a bottle and the wine won a gold medal at the Brussels wine fair of 2011!
There is a good choice of Champagnes on offer – my favourite tipple – and one that particularly caught my eye is a brut from Veuve Barrier & Fils, described in the catalogue as ‘a crowd pleaser’, which is on sale at €12,40 a bottle. This Champagne, comprising the traditional blend of chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir, is also available in demi-sec, for those – and I am not one of them – who prefer their Champagne less dry.
Amongst the pudding wines, I spotted an AOC Muscat de Rivesaltes, Croix Milhas, 2011, which the catalogue characterises as ‘almost a perfect wine’, on sale at the remarkable price of €5,75 a bottle. Its alcohol by volume is 15,5%, so it pulls no punches, and may be drunk as an aperitif; with the dessert; or with a blue cheese. Quite a versatile wine!
Another wine expert, Christophe Coppolani, recommends decanting older wines – he also, by the way, recommends decanting younger wines – to, as he says, aerate and thus bring out the best flavours and structure of the wine. Intermarche have a splendid modern 1.5 litre carafe in plain glass on sale at €24,90. They think of everything!
Indeed, there is something for everyone in this particular wine fair – and in wine fairs generally – but, from past experience, do not delay in checking it out before the best bargains are sold out!